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Teens blamed for swastika graffiti attack

VANDALS have daubed racist graffiti on the wall of a working men's club in Oswaldtwistle.

VANDALS have daubed racist graffiti on the wall of a working men's club in Oswaldtwistle.

Teeny terrors are being blamed for spray-painting a swastika on the side of The Straits Club.

Club secretary Steve Parkinson said that the graffiti was part of a spate of criminal damage in the area that had left many of his elderly members too frightened to come to the club.

He said that cars had been damaged and windows of nearby buildings had been smashed, and he was now looking into how to improve security around the club by upgrading the CCTV system and putting up fencing.

Mr Parkinson said: "We've had a lot of young vandals up here causing problems and it is frightening a lot of our members. We have lost a couple of them as a result."

"The police have been round and I have showed them some of the damage. We ring them as soon as there is any trouble but by the time they are able to come out, the kids have gone."

"It is just wanton vandalism and I am sick to the back teeth of it. We are looking into putting up fencing at the back but that's going to be about £1,000 from club funds."

PC Tracey Finn, the community beat manager for Oswaldtwistle, said that a number of schemes were in place to tackle the problems of juvenile nuisance and under-age drinking in the town.

These include the "positive activities for young people'' project, which aims to encourage youngsters to get involved with activities such as sport or drama, test purchasing at off-licences and extra police patrols in the area at weekends.

A number of arrests for criminal damage and public order offences have been made in recent weeks and PC Finn said that anyone with problems should contact the police.

She said: "Juvenile nuisance is everywhere, although it seems that Oswaldtwistle is particularly affected at the moment. We are taking positive action and doing everything we can."

The graffiti at The Straits comes just weeks after mysterious slogans campaigning for independence for Oswaldtwistle were spray-painted on billboards in the town.

Private homes have also been hit.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist